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Shane Garst wrote:

Hi, guys —

The (BBC) British Broadcasting Corporation reported that according to something called the World Christian Database there are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics in the world (Reported in 2013).

  • Where would such a number come from?

Shane Garst

  { Where do they get the population or number of Catholics that are reported worldwide each year? }

Bob replied:

Shane,

There are internal census counts at every church around the world, and those are added up within each diocese; [the same would be done at other Catholic religious communities].

There are also external entities and governments that count as well.

Researchers would draw on those numbers.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Shane,

In addition to Bob's answer, you may be interested in a web page I put together 13 years ago in 2006. It's pretty long but you may find the data on the page interesting.

Our AskACatholic.com 2006 Catholic Demographics page

I think my source for this was a 2006 Catholic Almanac. If you are interested, you can get a 2016 Catholic Almanac - (Pages 430 to 439) to see how the numbers have changed since then or just browse through one in a local bookstore.

I sense they are published about once every 2-3 years.

Mike

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